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  1. #1
    gr82bart's Avatar
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    Why do people show their photographs to other people?

    Serious question.

    I ask this because I find myself in a very unique situation. I have never been comfortable showing my images to other people. I've started to recently, but the vast majority of my 'stuff' has never been seen by anyone else - family, friends, ex, anyone.

    Yes I took photos for the local papers when I was in university, but in reality only the editor saw the pics and after one was chosen, the rest was 'filed'.

    Even today, the images I make with models, pretty much those shown publicly are ones that the models, MUAs or someone else picked out and already placed in the public domain. I have several that were 'used' and others have commented are 'better' but I really have no compelling feeling to 'show' them.

    To me the need to show my image isn't compelling enought to overcome the effort it takes to show my images. Whether at a show or on the web. Am I just lazy? Am I shy? What?

    Why do people show their images to others? What do you get out of it?

    Regards, Art.
    Last edited by gr82bart; 02-28-2007 at 08:00 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    Visit my website at www.ArtLiem.com
    or my online portfolios at APUG and ModelMayhem

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by gr82bart View Post
    Why do people show their images to others? What do you get out of it?
    Good question. I think part of it is the approval thing, just like in kindergarten. Wasn't if Freud that said something like "all human action is based on making oneself feel important"? When I make photographs, I enjoy them tremendously, for the most part. It's my desire to share this enjoyment with others. I want them to feel what I feel I guess.

  3. #3
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    I think part of it is a need to have other people's approval of what you are doing. With that in mind, you should only ever show people your best work unless it is to get an opinion on what went wrong or how to do better.

    Being shown images which are sub-standard is something that drives my father crazy. Many times he is shown something which is accompanied by a phrase such as "... of course, it would have been better if I had... etc. etc."
    His view is that you either show something you are completely happy with or don't show it at all. I tend to agree with this view.

    Anyway, photographs are made to be looked at. If you keep them hidden away, it is the same as the musician who practices to reach a high standard but never plays outside his own house.

    Obviously, commercial photography for a client is different to personal photography but it is still intended to have an audience.

    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  4. #4

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    Art,

    An interesting question, Art. When I take colour transparencies they are almost invariably for showing to others or potential publication, but I have many b/w prints that only I have ever seen. This is not because I'm ashamed of them or am concerned that they might not be well received, it's usually just because I produced them for my own pleasure and have received the required return without anyone else having seen them.

    With exhibiting there's the time issue. As an amateur, I need to show up for my day job five days a week (or they get upset!) and with all the usual domestic commitments, the time just isn't there to do all the things I'd like to, including the odd small exhibition. So many of the amateur photographers I meet are retired and have far more time at their disposal. Retirement soon seems to make people forget just how valuable and scarce leisure time is when you are out of the house from 7.30am to 6pm five days a week. (I also like to eat from time to time!)

    Putting material on the web is something I've considered, but I'm a complete bozo with computer-related things and begrudge the time it would take me to do it. I'd rather spend that time taking, developing and printing more photos, even if only a few people get to see them!

    All said and done, there's no reason why you, I or anyone should feel disadvantaged because we don't show our work as much as others. If we have enjoyed what we have done and learned a few things along the way, what more can we ask?

    Best wishes,

    Steve

  5. #5

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    I show my (so called serious) pictures to people because they want to see them, I have no desire to show them to people really. I remember getting gasps from some of my students when I told them that I was showing my own pictures to them to explain certain techniques or technical issues, but NOT to show them what a "good" picture should be. The gasp inducing phrase was, "You don't have to emulate my pictures, you don't even have to like them. I don't give a damn what you think of them, but they are useful in this class..."


    Isaac
    See my adventures in Yemen here:
    www.isaharr.com

  6. #6
    Daniel_OB's Avatar
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    I think photography is a comunication medium. In this case photographer is suppose to be very smart person, an artist, to whose ideas and vision other celebrate, and sometimes pays to have the vision on the wall. Also role of a photograph is to extend your memory, in which case it is not necessary to show to other. But in second case what is a purpose of memory?

    www.Leica-R.com

  7. #7
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    I decided to setup a small show of my photos in a neighbourhood café, my first show, because I felt like it was the right thing to do. I want to see people react, I want to hear what they think, and I want to exercise the cojones it takes to make a selection of prints I'm confident about.

    To me, showing my prints is not just a question of being proud of what I do and looking for feedback, but it's also a means to teach my lazy self that effort matters and that it is the only way to achieve something.
    Using film since before it was hip.


    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

    My APUG Portfolio

  8. #8
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Roberts View Post
    As an amateur, I need to show up for my day job five days a week (or they get upset!)

    I know. It's an outrageous expectation!

    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  9. #9
    jstraw's Avatar
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    This is a very interesting question, indeed.

    I make photographs as channel for creative energy because I feel better when I'm making something. I believe that sharing what I make is a step in the creative process. It's the part that takes courage. Whether I get feedback or simply try to meet some undefined standard for showing a picture, it benefits the process which I think is a loop, not a line.

    Also, I think that it's healthy to have the confidence that photograph that I find interesting to look at, others will too...even if I made it.
    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. In velit arcu, consequat at, interdum sit amet, consequat in, quam.

  10. #10
    arigram's Avatar
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    it gets me chicks

    No seriously. There are many reasons:

    1. Artwork is meant to be shared, even better when you are still alive and can enjoy the sharing.
    2. If people like them, they might pose for you
    3. Expanding the above, they might even pay you for them!
    4. Expanding the above, you might even charm them and get yourself a new friend or date
    5. They might give you useful pointers on technicallities or share their own knowledge
    6. They might annoy you by pretending to know and adapting a patronising tone thus resulting in you punching them in the eye which could be very satisfying
    7. Your work might inspire others artistically or technically
    8. Your work might make one thing, feel and react, change their life or atleast give them the gift of a significant moment
    9. Your art or subject matter could set something in motion
    10. You share some sort of information as many photographs are also documents, recordings of time, space, matter, etc
    11. You get it off your chest
    12. Their reaction might make you feel, think or react and give you a significant moment
    13. You might make a photographer of a viewer
    14. It can bring you fame, prestige, make you a sex idol, an avatar of perfection to be worshipped
    15. You can scare off someone unwanted
    16. It can spice up your relationship and sex life
    17. You justify (or not) your spending (of time and money)
    18. You connect with others, transfer your energy, become one with the Cosmos!
    Last edited by arigram; 02-28-2007 at 08:11 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    aristotelis grammatikakis
    www.arigram.gr
    Real photographs, created in camera, 100% organic,
    no digital additives and shit




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